, Piazza Umberto I, 8, Vignacastrisi.
Palazzo Guglielmo hotel is a group of buildings in the little town of Vignacastrisi, centred on the main palazzo which dates back to… well, no-one seems to know quite when. For a hotel with just 14 rooms the facilities are amazingly generous, all linked together by the ancient citrus grove in the middle.
The main lounge has an exposed stone vaulted ceiling, white washed walls, traditional stone flooring and fine furnishings. Two huge doors, one to the courtyard and the other one opening into the garden provide an abundance of light. There is an abundance of books and magazines provided, but the Palazzo Guglielmo is a television-free zone. On the first floor of the main building, once the private house of the Guglielmo family, guests have at their disposal three more rooms with sofas, reading/writing areas and a small library.
The garden is an oasis of green with ivy, Mediterranean ferns, fruit trees, spices and stunning tropical flowers providing an enchanting outdoor space to relax. The swimming pool is in a quiet corner of the garden, bordered by shaded terraces, comfortable seating and laid-back sun loungers: an ideal spot to cool down after a busy day exploring the nearby villages and beaches. Next to the pool area is the bar where you can sit and refresh yourself with local ice-cream, fresh juice or simply taste a traditional espresso. The bar is open every day from 7 am to 10 pm.
The massive antique wooden doors of the palazzo open up to reveal an enchanting open courtyard of beautiful pastel-coloured stone and flanked on each side by the delightful pietra leccese stonework of the guest rooms. The courtyard links through to the garden and swimming pool. There is also a fully furnished roof terrace, complete with Moroccan style seating area, large comfortable cushions and hot tub. From here there is a view of the village and it’s a great place for an aperitivo while watching the sunset.
Casa dell’Angelo is the hotel’s own restaurant, a comfortable place specialising in seafood and inspired by the traditional Mediterranean cuisine, accompanied of course by a selection of the best Apulian wines. The restaurant is open everyday for lunch and dinner and guests have a direct access from the garden of the hotel. The menu is inspired by the traditional seafood cuisine of Salento: sea bream, snapper, common pandora, anchovies, prawns, squid, mussels, sea urchins, cuttlefish, tuna, swordfish, stone bass. Fresh fish really is an obsession here! Breakfast is served poolside or in the living room, depending on the weather, from 8:00 am to 10:30 am. It consists of milk, coffee, cappuccino, pastries, homemade cakes, fresh seasonal fruit, eggs and bacon, fruit juice.
The Wellness Spa of Palazzo Guglielmo has been built in the ancient cellar of the residence, where once the Guglielmo family used to store grain, olives and wine. With its intricate detailing and cosy ambience, this is the perfect place to pamper yourself.
Most of the guest rooms are in the old service areas, the stable, storage, laundry, kitchen and warehouse. Now they have been turned into 8 double rooms, 4 suites and two apartments, ranging in size from 18 sqm to 120 sqm and accommodating from 2 to 6 guests each. Naturally the rooms are all different, making full use of the original features that were retained during the restoration. They each have full amenities: air conditioning, minibar, wifi, safe, telephone, en-suite bathroom and they are all provided with a small outside area with chairs and table.
The position of Vignacastrisi and nearby Castro Marina virtually on the tip of the heel of Italy make it a quiet backwater of the peninsula. There are quaint towns and villages with narrow streets and baroque balconies. The region has a fantastic gastronomic tradition with seafood, local cheese, wine (naturally!) which has not been over-commercialised. Then all this is fringed by the clear waters where the Ionian and Adriatic seas meet, ideal for swimming, sailing, scuba diving or just simply doing nothing.